Every year, more than 1 million people get a skin cancer diagnosis. Despite being the most common cancer, a diagnosis can uproot your life. At Petrin Dermatology in Redmond, Washington, Dr. Jaemes Petrin and the team helps you cope with your new diagnosis and chooses the best strategy for treatment. To start your skin cancer treatment plan, call Petrin Dermatology or book your appointment online today.
Skin cancer is abnormal, accelerated growth of skin cells. If you discover your skin cancer in its early stages, you have a high chance of a full recovery. For this reason, you should know what to look for and check yourself regularly for signs and symptoms.
Skin cancer isn’t just a normal mole or lesion on your body. When checking spots on your skin for signs of skin cancer, you can remember a simple acronym, “ABCDE”:
If you spend a lot of time in the sun or have family members with skin cancer, your physician might recommend regular professional screenings.
There are many different types of skin cancer, and some are much more common than others. The three most well-known types are:
Approximately 80% of all diagnosed skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinoma usually isn’t life-threatening and doesn’t spread, but you have a high chance of getting it repeatedly even after a full removal.
Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 16% of skin cancer diagnoses. You’re likely to get this type if you have fair skin. It often appears as more of a red bump or an open sore than a mole.
Malignant melanoma is the most critical skin cancer type, often doubling in size over the course of a few months. It can eventually spread to other parts of your body.
Skin cancer has numerous available treatment options. Your provider at Petrin Dermatology may recommend:
If the skin cancer is localized to a single spot on your skin, one option for treatment is to freeze it off using liquid nitrogen.
Often used in conjunction with surgery, radiation beams kill cancerous cells. This helps when your provider can’t remove all of the cancerous cells with surgery alone.
During excisional surgery, also called excision, your dermatologist cuts around the cancerous lesion, including some healthy tissue, to fully remove the skin cancer.
Mohs surgery is a more refined type of excisional surgery. Your provider removes thin layers of skin cancer until all cancerous cells are gone from the area and only healthy tissue remains.
If you’re suspicious about a mole or lesion and want to check it for skin cancer, don’t hesitate to call Petrin Dermatology or book an appointment online today.